A Manhattan lawyer has been suspended for two years for withdrawing from an escrow account money he said his deceased client pledged to him as payment for a decade of free legal work. The panel determined the lawyer was precluded from relying on his own testimony about the supposed agreement by the Dead Man's Statute, which bars an interested party from testifying about verbal promises by a dead or incapacitated person. But the court said the lawyer's account could still be used to mitigate his penalty.
N.Y. Appellate Panel Finds Dead Man's Law Applies in Disciplinary Matter
New York Law Journal
August 27, 2007